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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
by Philippe Fix
Age Range: 6-8
Seraphin is a ticket puncher on the Paris Metro and spends most of his days underground. At first he loves his job, although he always finds people appear to be sad as they travel to and fro. Seraphin is a dreamer and an optimist; he tries to cheer things up by decorating his booth with flowers but is soon told to remove them by the stationmaster. Now, all he can do is dream about flowers, birds and sunshine.
One day, after being sacked for trying to save a butterfly that had flown into the station by accident, he learns that he has inherited an old, dilapidated house. Going to visit it with his friend Plume they discover that the house is a complete ruin. Ever the optimist, Seraphin is not deterred. This is when Seraphin’s inventiveness and their adventures really begins.
First published in 1967, this curious tale from award-winning French author/illustrator Philippe Fix, has a fresh new translation by Donald Nicholson Smith. Full of whimsical humorous detail of Seraphin’s unusual inventions – an elaborate machine powered by Plume’s hamster Hercules - ingenious gadgets, toys and magical contraptions. With an engaging narrative in a conversational style together with cartoon-like richly coloured watercolour and ink illustrations that are packed full of detail this book zings with vibrancy and is sure to enchant a whole new audience.